Culture Days 2021
From September 24th to October 24th, Culture Days reignited our creative spirits and connected communities from coast-to-coast-to-coast through the 12th annual national celebration of arts, culture, and creativity. A record 3.4 million participants came together in-person and online through special performances, workshops, digital demos, late-night art adventures, exhibitions, history lessons, at-home crafting and more.
Hundreds of Culture Days event organizers from across the country demonstrated an unshakeable commitment to creative expression, knowledge-sharing, and community by organizing and registering over 3,000+ free, participatory events—an especially important endeavour as we continue to navigate uncertain times.
A huge THANK YOU and congratulations to all the organizers, volunteers, artists, creators, and performers involved!
2021 Theme: RE:IMAGINE with us.
Arts and culture emerged as a lifeline of joy, providing gifts of colour, hope, and reprieve needed to make it through the past couple of years. Collectively, we’re imagining what a post-pandemic world could look like and how we can each contribute to that picture being brighter. Through that lens, Culture Days chose RE:IMAGINE as the very apt 2021 theme. RE:IMAGINE signals a positive turning point—the commitment to building tangible change into the future of arts and culture.
Once again, Culture Days saw an incredible diversity of events and programs across many disciplines!
Some of this year’s digital events and programs are still available to browse here.
I participated as an artist and it was really wonderful connecting with other artists nearby!
—Culture Days Organizer
2021 Culture Days Organizers:
The importance of arts and culture in recovering from the pandemic
Art has saved me throughout the pandemic, kept me positive instead of focusing on the negative.
—Manitoba Culture Days Attendee
Communities with the most events in 2021
We enjoy seeing attendees inspired and trying or discovering something new in their city.
—Kaitlyn, Ontario Culture Days Organizer
Culture365 Blog RE:IMAGINE Series
This year, Culture Days produced a special blog series featuring an array of writers and creatives from across the country (and beyond!) with stories that both highlight and celebrate the 2021 theme of RE:IMAGINE. This 15-part series invited fresh perspectives and created new and exciting discourse on topics such as reimagining theatre in the age of racial reckoning, unpacking what “doing less” could mean for creators combating burnout culture, personal stories about pivoting and finding new purpose, exploring how new technologies allow us to create a sustainable and fundamentally inspiring industry that champions essential diversity, equity, and inclusion, and more.
- The Road Less Travelled: Three artists reimagine success and career by Linh S. Nguyễn
- Arts in Motion by Aaron Rothermund
- Reimagining Public Spaces: The Share-It-Square in Portland, Oregon by Laura Puttkamer
- Refresh: How a Year on Instagram Redefined Artistic Communities by Eva Morrison
- RE:PURPOSE by Mike Green
- Recalibrating: A Look at Opera InReach by Anya Wassenberg
- Reimagine—How the Disability Community Accesses the Arts by Rachel Marks
- Reimagining Community and the Workplace of Theatre by Natércia Napoleão
- Helm Studios flips the for-profit music model to empower artists by Aly Laube
- Curating INUA, Canada’s newest Inuit art exhibit by Carolyn B. Heller
- When Less is More: What Theatre Can Learn From a Year in Slow Motion by Megan Hunt
- RE:DEFINING Normal: A Prescription for a Canadian Cultural Landscape in Recovery by Valerie Sing Turner
- Empathy Machines?: Exploring the Relationship between Immersive Art Technologies and Feeling by Jozef Spiteri and Sunita Nigam
- La poésie pour vivre différemment la pandémie par Jérôme Melançon
- RE:ORCHESTRATING Our Future: Advancing Sustainable Development The the Arts by Ryan Elliot Drew
Video Profiles Series
For us, it is always going to be about community. This series of Video Profiles spotlights organizations, collectives, artists, or community members who play an invaluable role in fostering strong, creative communities across the country. Rooted in the 2021 theme of RE:IMAGINE and guided through the lens of the artist/creator/worker, the series explores ideas around the importance of community building, creative expression, recovery, art, and well-being.
Press Play to get to know friends from our network and folks from the sector.
- Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation in Calgary, AB
- Leah Dorion in Prince Albert, SK
- Lumel Studios in Whitehorse, YK
- ArtsJunktion in Winnipeg, MB
- Surita Dey from Brampton Library, ON
- Deep Roots Music Cooperative in Wolfville, NS
- Change Makers’ Education Societyin Prince Rupert, BC
Stay tuned - coming soon:
- The E.W.o.C. Project in Toronto, ON
- Bursting the Bubble: Mastering Messaging as the Pandemic Shifts with Katie Inverarity, Cody Chomiak, and Mercedes Blackwood (Findlay) (September 8, 2021)
- Hit Refresh: At-home & Online Programming 2.0 with Akshata Naik and Ian Dodds from Arts Etobicoke (June 30, 2021)
- Creative Community Recovery with Deb Borsos and Carol Palladino (March 31, 2021)